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Trade-off analyses of multiple mountain ecosystem services along elevation, vegetation cover and precipitation gradients: A case study in the Taihang Mountains

Liu, Laibao, Wang, Zheng, Wang, Yang, Zhang, Yatong, Shen, Jiashu, Qin, Dahe, Li, Shuangcheng
Ecological indicators 2019 v.103 pp. 94-104
atmospheric precipitation, case studies, ecosystem services, ecosystems, environmental indicators, habitats, mountains, net primary productivity, soil conservation, vegetation cover, water yield
Mountain ecosystems provide a variety of important ecosystem services (ESs) to humanity; however, the variation in multiple mountain ESs and the trade-off relationships among mountain ESs remain largely unknown. In this study, we took the Taihang Mountains as the study area and used the root mean square error (RMSE) method to quantify the trade-offs among multiple mountain ESs. Our results showed that net primary production (NPP), soil conservation (SC) and habitat quality (HQ) increased significantly with increasing elevation and vegetation cover fraction (VCF), whereas water yield (WY) did not. In addition, the trade-offs among different ES pairs had different sensitivities to changes in elevation, VCF and precipitation. As the elevation and VCF increased, the trade-offs between WY and NPP and WY and HQ increased significantly. As the precipitation increased, the trade-offs between SC and NPP, WY and NPP, HQ and SC, and WY and HQ all decreased significantly. In addition, the trade-offs among these four ESs were lowest in mid-elevation, high-VCF and low-mean annual precipitation (MAP) areas. This study could improve our current understanding of mountain ESs and help ES management for the Taihang Mountains.